At Pitcher List, we love nasty pitches. We review the dirtiest of the dirty after every day of games where our readers vote for their favorite. Each week, there are plenty of pitches that don't get the love they deserve and here at Korked we're going to take a look at these underappreciated pitches and understand why they deserve your love.
All GIFs courtesy of PitcherList.
1. Aaron Nola's Curveball
After making a major splash during the first two months of 2016, Aaron Nola injured his elbow and his 2016 just wasn't the same. In the opening weeks of 2017, Nola is hinting at his premier self and gave us a display of pristine Fastballs, lively Changeups, and a super heavy hook last Friday that was so fun to watch. Check out the massive break on this Curveball that induces the big whiff from Ryan Zimmerman.
2. Chris Sale's Fastball
Any worries Red Sox fans had about Chris Sale's transition to the Boston rotation should be quelled at this point as the sterling southpaw holds a 0.91 ERA, 12.74 K/9, and 1.82 BB.9 across 29.2 innings thus far. He is straight up killing it and while his Slider gets most of the love, his Fastball is often untouchable as well, especially when he's hitting his spots like this heater on the inside corner to Rickie Weeks.
3. A.J. Griffin's Curveball
We've seen the overpowering heaters, the nasty Sliders with late bite, the fading Changeups that fall off the table, but I have a soft spot for the pitch that comes in 30mph slower than a typical heater, lands in the middle of the plate, and still gets the batter to miss completely. Griffin isn't going to impress many with his stuff, but let's all share a good smile on this slow Curveball for the K.
4. Max Scherzer's Slider
There were questions entering the season if Max Scherzer would be able to pitch often and effectively with his bruised knuckle. He's answered those questions with 1.37 ERA and 10.98 K/9 across his three starts thus far. His go-to strikeout pitch has always been his slide piece and this iteration is as glorious as they come. Scherzer locates his Slider down-and-away to Adonis Garcia and we can't blame him for giving his best effort to make contact.
5. Stephen Strasburg's Curveball
If we were ranking the actual level of "nastiness" among the pitches today, this one wouldn't be at the top as it lands in a hittable spot in the zone. However, I think we can all agree that watching R.A. Dickey act exactly like we would if we had to face Stephen Strasburg's Curveball in the box is all kinds of fun. Do yourself a favor and focus on each part of Dickey's body as it wobbles in the box during multiple loops of this GIF. Entertainment for hours.